Periodontal diagnosis and treatment planning: Case based computer assisted learning

Surekha Rathod


There is potential for variation among periodontal and restorative faculty in evaluating periodontal condition and formulating a treatment plan. Number of factors are considered during formulating periodontal diagnosis, prognosis and treatment plan of which many factors are subjective. The impact of variation among clinical faculty on student performance remains unknown. Students may benefit from witnessing several ways to approach clinical problems. This type of exposure may enhance their knowledge and technical skills needed to perform different treatment options they can offer to patients, but beginners are confused by varying philosophies conveyed by the experts. As a result, students who have limited clinical background, find learning difficult. The aim of the study was to evaluate the Computer Assisted Learning program (CAL) to guide the students in a generic framework of clinical decision making in periodontics. To address the educational void surrounding the teaching and learning of oral rehabilitation strategies, a CD-ROM 'Interactive learning in Periodontics: Decision making in periodontal diagnosis and treatment planning in adults’ was developed and evaluated by interns from the Department of Periodontics. The disc emphasizes the distinction between 'doing' and 'planning to do' in the decision-making process. After using the disc, the students were able to apply a generic framework to formulate a treatment plan for their own patient. Overall students’ response was positive on the relevance, things learnt and ease of use of the program.

Keywords: Periodontics, Educational software, Case based computer assisted learning.

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